Anni Korkman's tips for Helsinki Design Week

Helsinki Design Week, the biggest design festival in the Nordic countries, will entertain the public with over 200 events this year. See five tips by Anni Korkman, Programme Director, on the offerings of the fifteenth Design Week.

Helsinki Design Week: Erottaja2

1. Helsinki Design Awards 2019

“Helsinki Design Awards aims to encourage Finnish designers and design houses to engage more boldly in experimental collaboration across sectors, and proudly celebrate the added value created by design. During the climate crisis we still need products and services – they just need to be designed and produced in a different way. Design can be beautiful and sustainable, while promoting positive change in society.

The Helsinki Design Awards will recognize the work of designers in four categories: Product of the Year, Design Deed, Young Talent and Lifework. Works by the finalists will be exhibited at Erottaja2 from 6–11 September and the winners will be announced at the exhibition on 12–15 September. Participants will also feature on Radio Helsinki's 'Helsinki Design Weekly' programme from 12 noon to 1 pm on Friday, 6 September, and in the subsequent podcast.”

“Design can be beautiful and sustainable, while promoting positive change in society.”

Helsinki Design Week: PechaKucha Night

2. PechaKucha Night

“A speaker sometimes loses track of time when carried away by their subject, and is desperate to show huge numbers of images. At the PechaKucha Night event, this is out of the question, since only six minutes and forty seconds are reserved for each presentation. The speaker is free to decide the content: at PehaKucha evenings over the years, we have been presented with ideas about bees, urban planning, herb cultivation, the potential of AI and the design of fancy dress for children. A total of ten presentations will be held during the evening, with a drink-length break halfway through.”

Where: Pörssisali, Fabianinkatu 14.
When: Thursday, 12 September from 8 pm to 10 pm
Tickets: 7.50 €/15€.

Helsinki Design Week: DesignPartners19

3. DesignPartners19

“On our fifteenth anniversary, we'll avoid retrospectives and direct our gaze towards the future wherever we can. However, it's worth remembering where it all began: the DesignPartners exhibition. Fifteen years ago, my father, Kari Korkman, the founder and director of the festival, invited creative talent from various sectors to design objects together for an exhibition. This led to surprising clashes and outstanding results.

We continue in the same spirit: we still promote a multisectoral approach and believe in collaboration. This year's final result will be exhibited at the main venue: Erottaja2. You are welcome to come and see what Milla Vaahtera and én Hats have come up with, or the result of collaboration between Asun and Marimekko. In addition, we can reveal that the interiors designed by PlusMinus Partners and Studio Viivi, and Teemu Lehmusruusu and Artek, are stunningly beautiful.”

Where: Erottaja2, Erottajankatu 2
When: 6–15 September from 11 am to 7 pm
Tickets: 9 €/18 €

Aoi Yoshizawa

4. Aoi Yoshizawa: Common Thread

“The almost 200-programme itinerary of Helsinki Design Week is assembled in cooperation with a wide network of organizers. Small, intimate exhibitions and workshops are a key element of our programme, and will bring an even more festive feel to our city. Something fun is in store every day, such as this weaving course and exhibition.

Aoi Yoshizawa, a Japanese-born artist and textile designer, will present a series of textile works based on various weaving techniques at Kalleria. Her textile works capture moments from the artist's everyday environment and have been created from colors and textures derived from close observation. The Common Thread exhibition explores the artist's take on the Finnish milieu and presents an experimental process in which traditional handicraft techniques are adapted to modern textiles.”

Where: Kalleria, Kaarlenkatu 10
When: 5–15 September, Mon–Fri from 11 am to 7 pm, Sat–Sun from 12 noon to 6 pm
Tickets: free admission

“Small, intimate exhibitions and workshops are a key element of our programme, and will bring an even more festive feel to our city.”

Erja Hirvi: Villit Pilvet

5. Erja Hirvi: Wild Clouds

“I also look forward to the Wild Clouds exhibition by distinguished print designer Erja Hirvi at Tiketti Galleria. Patterns sourced from her flow of ideas expand and are given their final names in new works painted with oil on canvas, and with gouache and ink on paper.

Hirvi mainly works on interior design and fashion, and print design in particular. The works in the Wild Clouds exhibition focus their tension, avoiding the mere repetition common to textile prints. It is as if a musical recording were being played for the first time, from which sounds begin to emerge. Via a sketchpad, mental images are transformed, as associations and awkward transitions guide the journey from mind to pen, and ultimately into a finished painting.”

Where: Tiketti Galleria, Urho Kekkosenkatu 4–6
When: 5–14 September, from 11 am to 6 pm
Tickets: free admission


See also!

Design Stories' picks for Helsinki Design Week:

Franckly pop-up store at Erottajankatu 2, on 6–15 September from 11 am to 7 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Franckly, our new marketplace for pre-owned design, takes part in Helsinki Design Week by opening a pop-up store at the entrance of the festival’s main exhibitions. On display are some of the best finds from the curated selection from a Tulip Chair to Nikari’s contemporary furniture.

Iwatemo exhibition at Gallery Lemmetti, Yrjönkatu 8, on 11–15 September.
Iwatemo was created by designers Harri Koskinen and Ville Kokkonen in collaboration with Japanese artisans from the Iwate prefecture. Their collection features products that have long local manufacturing traditions: clean-lined wooden furniture, cast iron kettle, and handmade porcelain tableware.

Senseware at Ivana Helsinki House, Palopirtintie 15, on 6–8 September.
Designed by Studio Parfum, the Senseware exhibition explores the relationship between our senses, colors, materials, forms, and space. On Saturday 7 September, the 1970s house hosts international speakers including Icelandic artist and designer Hanna Whitehead and American designer Shane Schneck.

Paimio Sanatorium exhibition at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, Kasarmikatu 24. Opens on 5 Sept.
The inaugural exhibition of the new Studio at the Museum of Finnish Architecture features photographer Tuomas Uusheimo's award-winning photographs of the Paimio Sanatorium. Taken last fall, the misty photos of the Finnish landmark are on display until 24 November.

Jazztasting Learning Climate Concert at Cable Factory, Tallberginkatu 1. Friday, 6 September at 7pm.
UMO Helsinki jazz orchestra offers you a taste of big band music by introducing various themes, classics, improvisation and instruments, among others. The profits of the concert will be forwarded to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation that promotes the protection of old-growth forests.

Helsinki Design Week 2019 takes place from 5 September until 15 September. For more information and programme, visit:

Edit: Laura Hallikainen Photos: Kuvat: Iiris Heikka, Mikko Ryhänen, Antti Kuivalainen and Helsinki Design Week / dynamo&son

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